Thesp would play a mentalist in Summit magician-heist pic

Hot on the heels of his buzzed-about turn as a corrupt LAPD officer in Oren Moverman’s “Rampart,” Woody Harrelson has entered negotiations for a role in Summit Entertainment’s magician heist pic “Now You See Me.”

Louis Leterrier is directing the film, which stars Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher and Melanie Laurent.

Harrelson is in talks to play Merritt Osbourne, a mentalist and hypnotist known for his Jedi-style mind tricks. He used to perform overseas for the Queen of England, but a bloody incident forces him to flee to Vegas where he joins the Four Horsemen, a squad of the world’s greatest illusionists who pull off a series of daring bank heists during their performances, then shower the profits on their auds.

Edward Ricourt (“How to Defeat Your Own Clone”) and Boaz Yakin wrote the original script that drew Leterrier’s interest, while “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” scribes Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum recently did a polish.

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are producing via their shingle Kurtzman Orci Paper Products, whose Bobby Cohen will exec produce along with Yakin.

Harrelson next stars in “Rampart,” which Millennium Entertainment acquired after its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Millennium, which will release the film later this year, will mount an awards campaign for Harrelson, who received an Oscar nom for Moverman’s “The Messenger.” Harrelson, repped by CAA, recently starred in “Friends With Benefits” and will soon be seen as Haymitch Abernathy in “The Hunger Games.”

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